The effect of pretest method on error detection rates: experimental evidence
Although pretesting is an essential part of the questionnaire design process, the range of methodological work on pretesting issues is limited. The present paper concentrates on the effect of the pretest survey method on error detection by contrasting respondents who are interviewed personally with those who receive an impersonal survey method. The interaction between survey method and respondent knowledge of the questionnaire topic is also considered. The findings show that the pretest method does have an effect on the error detection rate of respondents; however, the hypothesised interaction between method and knowledge was not unequivocally supported. The detailed results illustrate which error types are affected by the method used during pretesting. Implications for future research are considered.
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